2018 Jury

Grand Jury

Deirdre Brennan
General Manager
Universal Kids

Deirdre Brennan is the General Manager for Universal Kids, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment’s network for kids 2-12. With a fresh mix of animated content, unscripted entertainment, and proven international hits, Universal Kids represents the world of NBCUniversal family brands.

Brennan oversees all aspects of Universal Kids’ programming, marketing, business strategy and performance. She sets the strategy for all network and digital operations, with organizational oversight that includes programming, development, marketing, digital, finance, communications, insights and strategy. Brennan manages the greenlight process and works closely with producers and international broadcasters as well as with the global creative community to bolster the network’s relationships with top talent, writers, and showrunners. She also works closely across all NBCUniversal businesses to optimize projects and resources that grow the company’s overall kid’s strategy.

Previously, Brennan was at Corus Entertainment, where she was Vice President, Content, overseeing the development, management and execution of the Corus Kids slate of programming, including YTV, Treehouse, Nickelodeon, TELETOON, Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD. Prior to joining Corus, she was Head of Children’s Television, ABC TV, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, leading programming, acquisition and commissioning across Australia’s most successful children’s services - ABC KIDS, ABC3, and ABC Children’s online and mobile offerings.

Prior to that, she was Director of Content, Australia & New Zealand for BBC Worldwide. Brennan also served as Director of Programming, Nickelodeon Australia. She began her career as a presenter and announcer for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Brennan lives in New York City with her husband.

Elaine Frontain Bryant
EVP, Head of Programming
A+E Networks

Coming Soon...

Richard Kanee
Executive Director, Digital Strategy
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Richard is Executive Director, Digital Strategy for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, consistently ranked the 9th largest digital audience in Canada and fastest growing in the top 10.   

Since 1999, he has led digital strategy and business development for media brands including MuchMusic and CTV.  In that time, he pioneered many cross-platform successes that reached across broadcast, interactive television, web, mobile and live events.

Prior to joining CBC, Richard founded Creative D Inc.  Over its three year life the company developed new content distribution experiences and worked with tier-one media companies including Warner Music, Comedy Central, Fox and Disney.  In 2012 Creative D was selected as a finalist at Midem Labs in Cannes and a winner of the Disney Innovation Challenge.   Richard is a frequent speaker and instructor on the intersection of media and technology.

Anne Mensah
Head of Drama

Anne Mensah was appointed Head of Drama for the entertainment channels in 2011. Over the past six years, Anne has led the growth of original drama on Sky including the critically acclaimed Enfield Haunting, Fortitude starring Michael Gambon and Dennis Quaid and Guerrilla, written and directed by Academy award winner John Ridley. She is also responsible for commissioning some of Sky’s biggest ever original commissions – such as Delicious with Dawn French and Emilia Fox, Riviera starring Julia Stiles and Tin Star starring Tim Roth. Upcoming dramas include Britannia featuring David Morrissey and Kelly Reilly and Melrose starring Benedict Cumberbatch.
Prior to joining Sky, Anne spent 10 years at the BBC where she was latterly Head of Independent Drama as well as Head of Drama for BBC Scotland. Whilst at the BBC, Anne commissioned and worked with the very best in British drama to produce an impressive array of hits across the BBC channels. This includes the multi award winning Wallander starring Kenneth Branagh; Waterloo Road; Case Histories starring Jason Issacs; Zen starring Rufus Sewell and God on Trial with Stephen Dillane, Dominic Cooper, Stellan Skarsgard and Sir Anthony Sher.

Lisa Opie
Director of Factual
BBC Studios

Lisa Opie is the Managing Director of Factual, BBC Studios. She is responsible for the leadership of BBC Studios’ Factual teams across 6 business Units; The Natural History Unit, Topical and Live, Unscripted Productions, The Documentary Unit, Pacific Quay Productions and The Science Unit . Together they produce over 1000 hours of outstanding, thought-provoking and inspiring content across a broad range of genres and subjects. From established strands like Horizon, Watchdog and Countryfile, to the award-winning Big Blue Live, Murdered by my Boyfriend and Life and Death Row. Lisa works with the creative leads, production management and business teams to enable BBC Studios to continue to deliver and grow its world-class content.

Lisa also joined the BBC Studios Executive Committee in April 2018 where she is responsible for developing and implementing the business strategy within Factual.

Before joining the BBC in 2013, initially as Controller of Business for Factual & Daytime, Lisa was Managing Director of Two Four Digital, where she helped create digital channels and content for brands, broadcasters and businesses keen to engage audiences on multiple platforms.

Prior to that Lisa was Managing Director of Content at Channel Five and Managing Director of Flextech Television (once partner with the BBC in UKTV).

Previously Lisa worked at the satellite TV company BSB and presented and researched radio programmes for BBC Radio Wales.

She began her career in the theatre having attended the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and Indiana University Theatre School.


Ahmed Abdelhamid
Head of Programming
Abu Dhabi Media Company

Ahmed Abdelhamid is the Head of Programming and Acquisitions of Majid Kids TV, a leading children’s channel owned by Abu Dhabi Media in the MENA region.
Ahmed with 10 years of experience helped launch Majid channel in September 2015, specializing in children’s content with a full digital offering.
Prior to this Ahmed worked across major TV strands like Alarabiya News Channel, MBC MAX, MBC2, MBC3, and MBC Masr.

Suzan Aledin

During her ten years at Yle, the Finnish Broadcasting Company she has produced and commissioned hundreds of projects for children and youth in Finland. She has recently left Yle and is now Co-founder and head of the board at Moilo, a production company specialized in children and youth content.

Julie Anthony
Conseillère Artistique
TF1 International

Marie-Eve Arseneault
Content Manager

Marie-Eve Arseneault is a Marketing and Content professional with more than 13 years of experience in the Entertainment industry, in both Television and Video games. Inspired by pop and geek cultures, she is working on the development of digital and interactive content.

Kenny Bae
Senior Producer, Marketing Manager
KBS Korean Broadcasting System

Kenny, Kihyung Bae joined KBS in 1991 and has been involved with most of the significant international co-productions initiated by the broadcaster since joining the company. His focus is on documentaries and cultural programs. Currently, he is in charge of KBS World channel marketing and content business with overseas partners at KBS.

Bae has received the Presidential Award and the Best Program Award from the Korean Government. He is an internationally renowned expert in the field of co-production and global producing of content industry.

Craig Baines
Showrunner / Executive Producer

Craig Baines is a content producer, showrunner, writer, story editor and media financing consultant. Craig's production expertise covers a broad range of unscripted genres, notably: documentary, docusoap, lifestyle, history, crime, children's/youth and reality.

Craig has worked for a variety of independent producers including Alibi Entertainment, eOne Television, RTR Media, Insight Productions, Alliance Films, Summerhill Entertainment, Breakthrough Films & Television and 9 Story Entertainment. From 2015 to 2017, Craig was Production Executive, Original Factual Content at Corus Entertainment. Craig is currently an Executive Producer at Antica Productions.

Craig was nominated for a 2017 Canadian Screen Award for his series Great Canadian Cookbook (Best Lifestyle Series).

Zia Bales
Senior Acquisitions Manager EMEA
Turner Broadcasting System EMEA Limited

Zia Bales is Senior Acquisitions Manager, Kids for Turner EMEA, working across Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Boing and Cartoonito. In this role, Zia oversees and negotiates shared acquisitions for Turner’s EMEA kids’ business, working closely with the local heads of programming and acquisitions of each of the channels and the content heads within EMEA.
Zia has been at Turner since 2013. Prior to this she held an Acquisitions role at Disney. Zia has a background in Television Production having held various positions in Production Management.

Justine Bannister
Just B

Justine is a trilingual children’s media consultant with 25 years’ experience accrued most notably at 20th Century Fox, Disney Channels France and Lagardère France. Her skillset spans animation production, development, post-production, distribution, acquisitions, co-productions, marketing, brand and community management and project evaluation. Justine set up JUST B to provide Producers, Creatives, Distributors, Festivals and Media Conglomerates with bespoke services whereby each project is nurtured from inception through development, production, delivery, commercialization and building the brand.

JUST B services cover market readiness, pitching, commercial strategy, financing, funding, project sourcing and evaluation, co-producing, adaptations, casting, dubbing & post-production, International sales, marketing, communication and press.

JUST B clients include Animation from Spain, NHK Japan, TFO Canada, Reed Midem, Shanghai Media Group China, Animation South Africa, Pro-Chile, Go-N Productions France, Shanghai TV & Film Festival, Cinekid Festival, Telefilm Canada & SODEC Quebec, Spider Eye UK and Tinker Group.

Justine sits on International Festival juries, panels and advisory boards and works as an expert on project evaluation for numerous national and pan-regional funding organisations.

Emily Baustien
Development Specialist
Discovery Channel

Emily Baustien serves as Development Specialist for Discovery Channel. In her role, she works with producers to develop and produce primetime series. Discovery closed out 2017 as cable’s #1 network among M25-54 (excl. sports) for the 3rd straight year and owned more top 10 unscripted cable series than any other network among men. Prior to Discovery, Emily worked at Netflix and Authentic Entertainment. She is based out of Discovery Communication’s West Coast office in Los Angeles, California.

Erica Benson
Erica Benson

Stephanie Betts
SVP Development and Current Series DHX Studios
DHX Media

As Senior Vice President of Development and Current Series, Stephanie Betts is responsible for fostering, managing and expanding the kids and family development slate at DHX Studios, while also taking an active role in the creative oversight of all original DHX Media content. Stephanie’s expertise lies in building strong, creatively driven teams, and in developing series that appeal to domestic and international broadcasters – and most importantly, to kids! Drawing on more than a decade of experience producing and developing award-winning series, Stephanie has spearheaded the development of more than a dozen successful DHX series, including Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Inspector Gadget, Teletubbies, Supernoobs, and Make It Pop. Prior to joining DHX Media, Stephanie worked for more than six years as a Producer and Development Executive at Breakthrough Films and Television, and at Atomic Cartoons.

Brenda Bisner
Baby Toes Media

Brenda Bisner is a Children’s Entertainment Digital Brand Strategist and business development executive in the children’s media space. She has the rare talent to spot properties that have staying power and close deals to fully leverage their value in the Digital marketplace. Throughout her 18+ year career, Brenda has demonstrated a knack for tapping overlooked revenue streams in apps, gaming, and digital. Formerly with Cookie Jar Entertainment/CPLG, Porchlight Entertainment, and the Tom Lynch Company, etc. she helped close digital licensing deals for major brands, such as Strawberry Shortcake, Johnny Test, Caillou, Richard Scarry, Inspector Gadget, Lucha Libre Wrestling, and many more. Brenda was instrumental in launching 5 online platforms, has negotiated and produced over 30+ apps, developed, produced, and sold live action, animated, and reality series across multiple channels around the world.
In 2013, she founded Baby Toes Media, a consultancy that works with large companies to help maximize their library value in Digital space, but also works with “brand owners” to help build their brands from the “Digital Ground Up.” With a thoughtful approach Brenda strategizes, implements, and executes on a host of digital initiatives across many platforms worldwide by implementing precise and thoughtful plans for today and the future of the business. Discovering novel ways to bring great content to kids all around the globe is her goal, and she pursues it with passion.

Bettina Brinkmann
Executive Consultant and Board Member
EBU European Broadcasting Union

Bettina Brinkmann is a Senior Consultant with a broad expertise in co-productions, corporate strategy, business development, branded content, global relationship management, event management/production and communications and is currently working for various media companies and organizations. Parallel to this she is on the Board of two international companies and in the Steering board of a foundation. Before starting her own business she worked in various executive roles in the media and public relations sector, covering a broad scope of responsibilities. She held management positions both within the private sector (Bertelsmann) and the public sector (ZDF) and at a multinational organization (EBU) in Geneva. She studied at the Universities in Bochum and in Düsseldorf and holds a PhD. She has continued advanced studies at the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland and is regularly giving lectures.

Debbie Brown
Production Executive-Original Content
Corus Entertainment

Debbie has been creating content for twenty years. For the last 6 years she has been a Production Executive, Original Programming for Corus Entertainment, overseeing a variety of lifestyle and reality series including Hockey Wives, Property Brothers, Masters of Flip, Say Yes to the Dress, Real Housewives of Toronto, Tessa & Scott, Murder She Solved and Anna & Kristina’s Grocery Bags.

Before joining Corus, Debbie was Anaid Productions’ Director of Development as well as serving as Creative Consultant on the highly successful X-Weighted series. Prior to her time at Anaid, Debbie spent two years as Head of Development for Infinity Films, where she had the opportunity to create content for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. Before moving to Canada, she was a Story Producer for Endemol South Africa's Big Brother and she wrote and co-created a total of ten kids’ television series, spending six years as Head Writer for Africa’s first motion-capture animated series, Tube.

Debbie is excited by the ways in which the media landscape is constantly changing and looks forward to being a part of its ongoing evolution.

Colin Brunton
Screamin Banshee Productions

Emerging from Toronto rep theatres The Original 99 Cent Roxy and The New Yorker, Brunton got into the punk music scene as a documentarian in the late 70s, making his short film The Last Pogo, and then went on to build one of the most prolific careers in Canadian indie film and television. He won a Genie Award for Best Live Action Short, The Mysterious Moon Men of Canada, and went on to produce for many of Canada's most well known auteurs.

Brunton’s feature producing credits include the cult classics Roadkill, Highway 61, and Hedwig and the Angry Inch. As the first Executive Director of the Feature Film Project at the Canadian Film Centre, he executive-produced some of the most successful projects to come out of that program including Rude and Cube. He then went on to conquer the television world with several series including: Our Hero, An American in Canada, The Newsroom, Puppets Who Kill, How to Be Indie, Little Mosque on the Prairie, Almost Heroes, Connor Undercover, and Spun Out. He exec-produced Kire Paputt’s feature debut The Rainbow Kid in 2016, and recently wrapped up Season Four of the award-winning TV series Schitt’s Creek for CBC; he is currently in development for season five. His filmmaking life has come full circle with the release of his feature documentary on Toronto's punk history, The Last Pogo Jumps Again, co-directed with filmmaker Kire Paputts.

Tessa Bryson
Al Jazeera Media Network

Tessa has been in broadcasting since graduating from Falmouth College of Arts in 2003. In 2007 she joined Al Jazeera English in London and later in 2013 she moved to Qatar to join Al Jazeera's award winning Investigative Unit. In 2011 she became a trustee for the Arab British Centre for four years, a cultural organistation that promotes understanding between the UK and the Arab world through arts and culture.

Mitch Burman
Head of Production
HeartHat Entertainment

After spending the first 20 years of his life watching way too much TV, Mitch decided that he might as well make a career out of it.
The Gemini, CSA and Emmy® Award nominated Producer/Director got his start in television working in Los Angeles on NBC’s popular daytime drama “Santa Barbara”. After a brief stay in Hollywood, he returned to Canada and has spent the past 25 years honing his talents all across the Canadian broadcast map.
Known for his creativity and expertise as a show runner, Mitch has been able to bring his talents to some of this country’s most popular and critically acclaimed programs. Having spent a large portion of his early career in sports television, his more recent years have focused primarily on the Unscripted and Kids genres where he produced and/or directed shows such as “Style By Jury”, “The Second City’s Next Comedy Legend”, “Conviction Kitchen” and “The Adrenaline Project” just to name a few. Mitch is also regarded as one of Canada’s leading producers of hidden camera prank shows, having created the hit YTV series “Extreme Babysitting” and “Undercover High”. The shows he's created and/ or worked on have garned multiple Gemini, CSA, Emmy, Kidscreen, Cynopsis, Banff Rockie and Prix Jeunesse nominations.
Since 2016 Mitch has been serving as the Head of Production for Toronto-based HeartHat Entertainment where he jumped feet first into the world of Animation by creating and producing the critically acclaimed “CANAdooDAday” for CBC Kids.

Melissa Campbell
Contentum Consulting & Management

Melissa Campbell launched Contentum Consulting & Management in 2018 after over a decade in the Unscripted Television agency world. Previously Head of Unscripted Content at the Kaplan Stahler Agency, Campbell works with a varied client list of U.S. and International production companies, producers, and talent. Her background in radio, production, marketing, and PR led her into the representation business at commercial prodco, Plum Productions, helping to pioneer their branded and short-form entertainment division, with agency life starting in 2005 at the Gersh Agency. She is based in Los Angeles with a core group of clients, working strategically with other reps, managers and entities worldwide.

Juliana Capelini
Creative and Executive Producer

Juliana Capelini has been a producer in the Brazilian audiovisual market for more than ten years. As an executive producer, worked for the main Brazilians production companies in TV series, documentaries and feature films, such as “Julie and The Phantoms”, kids live action series for Nickelodeon and TV Band, Emmy Nominee in 2012; “Sitio do Picapau Amarelo – 1th season”, animation series for TV Globo and Cartoon; “Doggy Day School” a Brazilian-Canadian coproduction animation series for Nickelodeon LA, TV Cultura and TV Ontario; “DPA- Detetives do Predio Azul” kids live action series for TV Gloob, “Terra Prometida” a documentary series for TV Cultura, and “DPA- Detetives do Predio Azul - The Movie” feature film released in 2017.

Meghan Cassin
Director, Development
Nat Geo Wild

Meghan Cassin is the Director of Development for Nat Geo Wild. In this role she is responsible for specials, character-driven series, and BarkFest. In addition to linear programming, Cassin develops digital content for Wild and executive produced the multiplatform series Untamed with Filipe DeAndrade.
Previously, Cassin has worked in development, strategy, and production roles at Digitas, Siskel/Jacobs Productions, Intersport, and Sirius XM Satellite Radio.
She is a graduate of The George Washington University’s American studies program and holds a Masters of Science in integrated marketing and communications from Northwestern University.

Nick Catliff
Managing Director & Co-Founder
Lion Television

Nick was one of the founding partners of Lion Television in 1997 and remains Joint Managing Director. His career in television started as graduate trainee at the BBC and he went on to work in Arts, Current Affairs and Documentaries.
At Lion TV, Nick has acted as Executive Producer on a wide range of programming including access documentaries British Army Girls (Channel 4), Guarding the Queen (BBC One), and A Very British Airline (BBC Two), Arts; Rebuilding The World Trade Center (Channel 4 -BAFTA and RTS Awards); history such as The Dambusters Great Escape (Channel 4), The RAF at 100 with Ewan McGregor (BBC One), science and technology; Supertruckers(Discovery Quest), multi-platform such as Emmy Award winning Britain from Above (BBC One / Two / Four) and event based programmes such as Eddie Izzard Marathon Man (BBC 1/3) and Kumbh Mela (Channel 4 - RTS Award).
Nick is President of Lion USA, which he founded in New York 2001. The most recent productions include Restaurant Redemption and Junk Food Flip(Cooking Channel), Money from Strangers (MTV), Deadliest Decade (Discovery ID), Driven to Love (WE), the multi-Emmy Award winning Cash Cab(Discovery) and America Revealed (PBS).
He is chairman of the Indie Training Fund which provides training for the TV industry and also a trustee of The Jasmin Vardimon Dance Company. Nick keeps bees, has a very small flock of sheep and has recently completed an MBA at The Berlin School of Creative Leadership.

Aubrey Clarke
Programme Executive
BBC Children''s, CBeebies

Aubrey has been a Programme Executive for the Children’s Animation and Acquisitions team within the BBC for 5 years and is editorially across co-productions, pre-buys and ‘Off the Shelf' acquisitions for Cbeebies and CBBC.

He is the channel executive on shows such as ‘Scream Street’, ‘The Zoo’ and ‘Tee & Mo’ plus manages brands ‘The Next Step’ and ‘The Deep’ on CBBC.

Richard Cook
Tough Cookie

Richard is an International Emmy and Rose d’Or-Nominated Executive Producer. His career has spanned genres including documentaries, factual entertainment, music, chat shows and live events. In the UK he has produced and directed for BBC, ITV, CH4, SKY, and in the US; Showtime, E!, HGTV, VICE and CNN. He has worked with an array of A-List talent including; Beyonce, Paul McCartney, Simon Cowell, Will Smith, Spike Jonze and Madonna amongst many others. His credits include Queen: Days of Our Lives (BBC), The Cruise Ship (ITV), T4, Popworld and Transmission (Channel 4), and in the branded world iTunes Music Festival, Red Bull Rivals and Nike Supersonic. Richard is a voting member of BAFTA and the International Emmy Awards. He is currently Chief Creative Officer at Tough Cookie Productions in NYC, part of the Argonon Group.

Laura Crowson
Sr. Director of Development
Discovery Channel

Laura Crowson serves as Sr. Director of Development & Development Strategy for Discovery Channel. In this role, she works alongside domestic and international producers to develop prime-time series for the network, while helping to steer strategy for new projects.

During her time with the network, Crowson has been an instrumental part of the Discovery team that is responsible for developing such hits as Naked and Afraid, Fast N' Loud and Edge of Alaska.

Before joining Discovery, Crowson was a Development Executive/Producer for Gurney Productions in Los Angeles, CA. While at Gurney, she was responsible for pitching and developing projects for multiple networks including Duck Dynasty for A&E, American Guns for Discovery Channel and Auction Hunters for Spike TV.

Prior to her work with Gurney Productions, she was in the highly prestigious agent trainee program at Creative Artists Agency.

Crowson holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Dartmouth College where she majored in English Literature and Film and Television Studies. She is based out of the Discovery Communications’ West Coast office in Los Angeles, CA.

Carla de Jong
Head of Production
Sinking Ship Entertainment

In her current role as Head of Production at Sinking Ship Entertainment, Carla is responsible for overseeing production across the company’s varied and exciting slate of projects. Before joining the Ship she held various roles as a producer and broadcaster including Head of Commissioning and Development for ABC Australia and Executive in Charge of Production and Development at Kids’ CBC. She has created and produced a number of successful children’s series for the BBC in the UK and Network Ten in Australia. Carla has been nominated for two Emmy Awards and her work has been recognized both locally and internationally in awards such as the Kidscreen Awards, The Prix Jeunesse Awards, the BANFF World Media Awards, the Logies and AFI Awards in Australia and The United Nations World Environment Day Awards.

Piotr Derewenda
Script Editor

Scriptwriter, creative producer, sript editor, tv expert at the tv series, fiction and TV theatre productions. Jury member of international film festivals, such as Prix Europa Festival, Berlin (TV drama category) or the BANFF World Media Festival. He graduated from the National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw (The Theatre Studies). Piotr has been working at the TVP since 2006. At present, responsible for artistic and literary supervision of films and tv series. His projects were recognized at numerous Polish and international festivals.

Nate DuFort
Creative Consultant
The Second City

Nate DuFort is a writer, producer and director who splits his time between Detroit and Chicago. Nate is a consultant for The Second City having previously served as the Producer for Second City Theatricals, Producing Director for The Second City Touring Companies and the Producing Artistic Director for The Second City Detroit. Highlights include producing The Second City Guide to Opera in partnership with Lyric Opera of Chicago, leading the producing team for The Second City's collaboration with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, managing the partnership at sea between Second City and Norwegian Cruise Line and taking part in the annual Gilda’s Club of Chicago fundraiser Night of a Thousand Noogies. Nate served on the Board of Directors for Planet Ant Theatre in Hamtramck, Michigan and from 2005 to 2007 served as the Director of the Planet Ant Film & Video Festival as well as segment produced for festivals around the United States. He currently produces the podcast My Neighbors Are Dead available at www.myneighborsaredead.com or wherever you get your podcasts.

Ben Dwertman
Senior Manager of Programming
Science Channel

Ben Dwertman is the Senior Manager of Programming at the Science Channel. In this role, Ben helps lead Science's primetime and total day programming strategy and shape its acquisition and co-production priorities. Since he joined Science in 2014, the network has set primetime ratings records for the past three years. Ben has also worked in programming roles for the National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo WILD. He is based in New York.

Lauren Evans
Cherrydale Productions

Lauren is an award winning producer, content creator, and co-owner of Cherrydale Productions Ltd. Lauren has had a passion for all things Film and Television for as long as she can remember and being able to create and share engaging stories with the Cherrydale team has been a dream come true.
Since moving to Toronto she has had the opportunity to work in various aspects of the media industry from production through to distribution & marketing. Her experience includes coordinating and managing for productions and companies as well as many years of being on set. With Cherrydale Lauren has produced two critically acclaimed web series "The March Family Letters" and "All for One".

Darrell Faria
Writer / Actor

Stephen Finney
Finney Films

Stephen Finney is a development executive, story editor and script consultant known for boundary pushing dramas and comedies. As a broadcast production executive at Global, Showcase, and History, he oversaw the hit series Lost Girl and Continuum, international co-productions The Firm and Julian Fellow’s Titanic miniseries, comedies Almost Heroes, Pure Pwnage and Kenny Hotz’s Triumph of the Will, and the digital properties Howie Mandel’s The Family Business and But I’m Chris Jericho. He is currently consulting on and developing scripted dramas with production companies in Toronto and Vancouver.

Laura Fleury
SVP, Head of Programming, International
A+E Networks

Laura Fleury serves as the SVP/Head of Programming, International, for A+E Networks. Named to the role in late 2016, she is responsible for setting A+E Networks’ international programming vision to drive performance and growth across the company’s portfolio outside the U.S., which includes HISTORY, H2, Lifetime, A&E Network, FYI, Blaze and Crime + Investigation. She oversees the global programming teams on development of original content and co-productions, as well as scheduling and acquisition strategies, with the objective to increase cultural relevance around A+E’s brands worldwide. In addition, she has oversight of content sourced from A+E’s U.S. networks and is a key decision-maker behind international investments in original productions, co-productions, movies and scripted. She collaborates closely with the international GM’s and regional brand programming heads to strengthen the channels as powerful global brands through aligned but regionally-crafted strategies. Also key to her role is evaluating brand expansion opportunities as well as developing and executing programming strategies for new channel launches. Fleury oversees a New York-based programming team as well as programming leads for all A+E brands internationally. She also continues to serve as a senior advisor to A+E Networks for crime programming.

Prior to her role in International, served in the role of Head of Programming & Development for LMN (Lifetime Movie Network) since 2013, and was named SVP/Head of Programming & Development of LMN in 2015.

Fleury has also held senior positions at A&E Network and Bio Channel. Prior to working in television, Fleury worked in independent film production on scripted and unscripted films, including the award-winning documentaries “Brother’s Keeper” and “Paradise Lost.”

A graduate of the Women in Cable and Telecommunications' prestigious Betsy Magness Leadership Institute, she has also received a NAMIC Vision Award, a Thurgood Marshall Journalism Award and has several Emmy nominations. Fleury graduated with highest honors from The University of Virginia, where she created her own major, “The Psychology of Visual Arts,” and wrote her thesis on the “Psychology of Suspense in Hitchcock Films”.

She is (nearly) fluent in French and currently resides in NY.

Brad Forder
Director of Programming
Environmental Film Festival In the Nations Capital

Brad Forder has served as the Director of Programming for the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital since 2015 and started working at the Festival in 2013 as a programmer. Brad has worked as the director of photography for various documentary projects – including Painted City – and has served as a videographer for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He holds a BA in Asian Studies from Furman University and an MA in International Journalism from Cardiff University.

Sarah Fowlie
Director, Comedy Original Programming
Bell Media

Michael Fukushima
Executive Producer
NFB The National Film Board of Canada

Michael Fukushima is an award-winning filmmaker and producer at the National Film Board of Canada’s world-renowned Animation Studio. He has been making films since 1984, which is a lot of water under the bridge. Fukushima joined the NFB Animation Studio in 1990 where he’s been a filmmaker, producer, and now executive producer. He now mostly produces the producers and offers up sagacity and wise-cracking bon mots.

Colby Gaines
Back Roads Entertainment

Colby Gaines is an executive producer and founder of Back Roads Entertainment, a New York based content creator specializing in comedy and lifestyle programming.

In his role, Gaines is responsible for the company's programming, development and day-to-day operations. Back Roads Entertainment develops, sells and produces across all genres for broadcast and cable networks, both domestically and internationally, as well as digital platforms.

Since establishing the company in 2011, Gaines has created, sold and produced over 30 series, specials and pilots for networks such as such as A&E, Lifetime, Discovery, Food, Travel Channel, TLC and E! among others. He oversees and manages a production slate that includes Big Bad BBQ Brawl (Cooking) and the upcoming variety format 50 Central (BET) starring music icon, actor and entrepreneur 50 Cent. Other credits include Joking Off (MTV), Lake Life (DIY) as well as Culinary Beats (Yahoo).

Cathy Galeota
SVP, Preschool Content

Cathy Galeota is Senior Vice President of Preschool Content, Nickelodeon Group. A 20-year Nickelodeon veteran, Galeota oversees production on all current Nickelodeon preschool series including co-productions and original shows, such as the top-ranked PAW Patrol, Blaze and the Monster Machines and Shimmer and Shine. She also maintains creative and business oversight of the preschool Executives In Charge (EICs).
Since 1997, Galeota has served in several positions at Nickelodeon. She began her career at the company in the network’s production management group, handling long-form projects in development for Nick Jr. and on-air promos. She went on to become a producer on both Dora the Explorer and Go, Diego, Go!, and later, Director of Preschool Current Series as an EIC for Dora, Diego and Team Umizoomi, before taking on the role of Vice President of Preschool Current Series.
Prior to joining Nickelodeon, Galeota worked at Disney Channel and The WB in Los Angeles, serving as production manager on various short-form projects, on-air creative branding and creative development for the networks.
Galeota lives with her family in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Athena Georgaklis
Head of Development, Nelvana
Corus Entertainment

Athena Georgaklis is the newly appointed Head of Content for Nelvana. Georgaklis, a highly respected animation executive, leads the acquisition of rights and the development of all original content for Nelvana, working with the studio’s producers, creators, and talent around the world.
Georgaklis has worked in Canadian broadcast and production for more than 19 years. In her most recent role, Georgaklis oversaw all original productions for Corus Entertainment’s TELETOON network, supervising the development and production of Canadian content in both English and French. During her time with TELETOON, she led the production and development of hit shows like Johnny Test, Camp Lakebottom, Mysticons, Cournterfeit Cat, Atomic Puppet, Rocket Monkeys, and the Total Drama Island franchise.

Jonathan Goad
Actor / Director

Jonathan Goad is one of Canada’s most accomplished, hard-working and sought-after actors whose directing has been called “thoughtful, polished,” “extraordinary,” “sensitive and intelligent.” With over a decade at the world-renowned Stratford Festival, Goad has played leading roles in Hamlet, The Alchemist, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, The Three Musketeers, The Music Man, Henry IV, Fiddler on the Roof, Julius Caesar, The Brothers Karamazov, and Pride & Prejudice, to name a few. Film/TV credits include: CBC's Alias Grace, Reign for CW/CBS, Dorsal, Nikita, Republic of Doyle, Heartland, Murdoch Mysteries, Unnatural History, Othello, The Waking, Rookie Blue, Mutant X. Goad’s performances throughout North America include: A Whistle in the Dark, Speaking in Tongues (Company Theatre); Our Class, The Laramie Project (Studio 180); King Lear (Soulpepper); Stones in His Pockets (GCTC); Arcadia (Theatre Junction); Strawberries in January (Grand). He trained at the prestigious National Theatre School (NTS) as well as, Birmingham Conservatory, University of Waterloo, The Banff Centre, and now also teaches at NTS and Fanshawe College.

Gustavo Gontijo
Content Development Manager
Globo TV International

Gustavo Gontijo has been with Globo Studios (Brazil´s biggest) since 2000 when he was hired as a writer in a long-term contract for many of the company´s shows and series. In 2014, with the creation of Drama Weekly division, dedicated only to drama and comedy series, he was named Head of Development, a position which he holds to this day. During the period, he helped to conceive and develop hits like “Under Pressure” (the number 1 series in Brazil), “Supermax”, Mister Brau”, “The Wise Ones” and the 2017 MIPtv Grand Jury Prize “Jailers”.

Jennifer Goodhue
Writer / Actor

Jen is an award-winning comedic actress, writer and improviser with over twenty five years of sketch writing and performance experience. She's an alumni of The Second City Mainstage and current staff writer for the hit series Baroness Von Sketch Show (CBC, IFC). She's previously written for Because News (CBC), 22 Minutes (CBC), That's So Weird (YTV) and Stroumboulopoulos Tonight (CBC). Jen wrote and co-starred in five seasons of the sketch comedy series Comedy Inc. (CTV, Comedy Network). She's performed in various sketches on Baroness Von Sketch, and her film credits include Guidance and No Stranger Than Love. In 2017, she won two Canadian Screen Awards (Best Writing in a Televised Variety/Sketch Show and Best Televised Variety/Sketch Show, Baroness Von Sketch) and has previously won several Canadian Comedy Awards for her ensemble work with both The Second City and Monkey Toast – an Improvised Talk Show.

Helene Goujet
VP Acqusitions & Editorial
HBO Europe

Larry Grimaldi
VP, Production & Development
MarVista Entertainment

Larry Grimaldi is Vice President of Development & Production at MarVista Entertainment, where he helps create, develop and produce entertainment programming in the television movie, scripted and unscripted series and digital spaces. Before joining MVE, Larry spent considerable time as an independent producer. His career includes work for CBS, Disney, Hallmark, Lifetime, Bravo, MTV/VH1, USA, TLC, Freeform, Style, Animal Planet, Oprah and E Entertainment. He most recently served as an executive producer on the Hallmark movie, “My Christmas Love,” and the Disney XD film, “Mark & Russell’s Wild Ride.” Larry also oversaw the hit Hallmark film, “Summer Villa,” which is being developed into a sequel.

Kyungsoo Han
Argus Film

Since 1999, he has produced and directed numerous documentaries about Korean society, religion, culture, and people. Nowadays, he mainly focuses on working as a producer with prominent Korean documentary filmmakers, and various broadcasters like POV, ZDF/Arte, Al Jazeera, NHK, DRTV co-produced or commissioned his works. He founded ‘Argus Film’ in 2011, and “My Love, Don’t Cross That River” which he produced in 2014 is the award winning film globally and topped in the South Korea box office during its opening weekend ahead of its competition, Hollywood films ‘Interstellar’, ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’, etc.

Chris Harris
Director, Digital Content, Programming
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Chris Harris is an Emmy®-winning media professional and content leader with more than 15 years experience as a digital production executive, business leader, media strategist, interactive producer and journalist.

Before returning to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in 2015, Chris was Vice President, Strategy & Business Development at the Emmy® Award-winning interactive content studio Secret Location.

Prior to that, Chris led the Digital Content teams at Shaw Media (via Canwest and Alliance Atlantis) as both Director and Head of Online Content, as well as being Shaw Media’s first ever Head of Social Media. During that time, Chris guided the creation of globally recognized award-winning work, which resulted in significant growth in audience, engagement, and revenue.

Prior to joining Shaw, Chris spent more than seven years as an award-winning interactive producer and journalist with the CBC, working in Sports, News and Kids.

Peter Hartogs
CEO & Executive Producer
Landmark Media Productions

Peter Hartogs is the CEO and Executive Producer at Landmark Media Productions, a Washington, DC-based production company. Hartogs has over 20 years of production and development experience and served as Co-Creator and Production Executive of Smithsonian Channel’s critically acclaimed series, Boomtowners. Hartogs comes from a journalism background, beginning his career at CNN, where he produced daily news, features, long form and medical news. He also was a nationally recognized public relations director at a children’s hospital in Washington DC, developing stories that garnered worldwide attention.

Hartogs and LMP’s mission is to make programs of the highest quality that are enjoyable, innovative, and if you're not careful you might learn something, or feel an emotion or two. We tell stories, and tell them well. LMP specializes in high quality docu-series and documentaries and working with select corporate clients.

Eriko Hase
Senior Producer
NHK Japan Broadcasting Corporation

Eriko Hase has been making science programs for 20 years. Her main subject areas are natural history and space. She joined NHK in 1992 and was initially based at a regional station in the city of Wakayama. She became a director of science programs when she transferred to the NHK Broadcasting Center in Tokyo in 1996. She subsequently became a senior director. She has recently widened her focus to include 4K and 8K production, collaborations with other programs, development of content using virtual reality and of content for the web, and other applications of digital technologies to program production.

Kevin Healey
Senior Vice President, Entertainment
Propagate Content

Kevin Healey has created, written, developed and produced an incredibly diverse array of shows including Tru TV’s Fameless with David Spade, Scare Pewdiepie for YouTube Red, Syfy’s Megahit Scare Tactics, BETTY WHITE’S Off Their Rockers for NBC, the FOX comedy reality hit Mobbed with Howie Mandel, The Carbonaro Effect for TRU TV, Animal Planet’s Fool’s Gold, NBC’s 25 Million Dollar Hoax, SPY TV, World’s Most Amazing Videos, Howie Do It and You Asked for It; ABC’s The Big Moment; FOX’s World’s Dumbest Drivers, Oxygen’s Breaking Up With Shannen Doherty; Comedy Central’s Emmy Award-Winning Win Ben Stein’s Money; Nickelodeon’s critically-acclaimed animation series, CatDog and the DreamWorks animation series Toonsylvania. Kevin’s efforts have earned him the reputation as the industry’s most sought after expert in hidden camera/comedy and horror/comedy.

Kirsten Hurd
Acquisitions, Children's Media

Working in Acquisitions for TVO, the technological extension of Ontario’s public education system, Kirsten is responsible for sourcing a wide range of kids programming. She is also the Production Executive for TVO on 5 co-productions each year. In her previous positions she spent 15 years in international sales and acquisitions of finished programming, most recently as Director of Acquisitions and Canada Sales at Distribution360. Prior to D360, Kirsten served as Director of Sales for factual distributor BuzzTaxi Communications, and has held sales and management positions at Cookie Jar Entertainment, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and Decode/DHX Media. As a specialist in program sales, Kirsten worked within territories across the globe including North America, Latin America, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, New Zealand and Australia. She has attended international markets extensively including Kidscreen, MIPCOM, MIPTV, Banff Media Festival, Hot Docs, AIDC, TIFF, Realscreen and NATPE.

Monika Ille
Executive Director of Programming & Scheduling
APTN Aboriginal People's Television Network

Executive Director of Programming and Scheduling Monika Ille has built a rich and diverse background during her nearly 28 years in the broadcasting industry. Upon graduating with distinction from the Université du Québec à Montréal, Monika entered the industry working first for the Société Radio-Canada and then, for the National Film Board (NFB). During her employment with the NFB she was instrumental in the development of a new training program for Aboriginal filmmakers. It was this latter experience that initiated her into the world of film production and led her to create her first documentary French Man, Native Son. She has also worked with Quebec Native Women in Montreal and the Assembly of First Nations in Ottawa. Monika has been with APTN for the past fourteen years.

Ms. Ille is a citizen of the Abenaki First Nation of Odanak. She sits on the Quebec Board of Directors of the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television and is an industry adjudicator on the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council – Quebec Regional Panel. Monika is also a member of the Nominating and Governance Committee at MediaSmarts.

Philip Jackson
Co-Founder, Co-Executive Producer, Creative
Starfield Independent Studios Inc

Driving the creative and commercial fusion of new content, helping the digital team develop new platform implementation of content outreach and effective transmedia, particularly in relation to it’s TV and Film productions.

Starfield Indie is a privately owned organization with a diversity of producing, finance and legal talent heading the management team. The company motto is “Imagination Works”, Philip and the Starfield Indie team are in an ongoing mission to keep that vision at the tip of both creative and commercial realms. This means investing in risk, as outstanding entertainment product has rarely, if ever, come from invention-adverse management.

Philip embraces producing work with an imaginative and challenging edge. So far – audiences embrace us in return.

About 25 full time people work on and off-site for Starfield indie in Toronto Canada, directly or by contract, another 5 people overseas. Philip encourages creative experimentation and growth from everyone from CGI Artists, to writers, and designers.

Properties headlining 2017-18 include the just completed sci-fi series Starhunter REDUX (44 eps) and heading into Season 3 Starhunter Transformation (22 eps) the features Captain Reggie, Rodax, Prison Moon IO and the first season of the sci-fi drama FATman at Lightspeed.

Philip is also co-president of the unrelated Privately owned IMFG2 Inc (International Media Finance Group2, Inc.)

Andrew Johnson
Production Executive, Original Content, Factual
Corus Entertainment

Andrew Johnson helps develop & commission factual & documentary programming for Corus channels, mainly HISTORY and Global. He has overseen current & recent programs like 100 Days to Victory, Hunting Nazi Treasure, I Am War, Yukon Gold, Real Vikings, Black Watch Snipers, War Story and Ice Pilots. Previously, he was Commissioning Editor of CBC News Network’s award-winning documentary series The Lens, and Senior Producer at The Passionate Eye. He began his career in independent television production, and has won numerous prizes including a Peabody Award, 3 Geminis, and an International Emmy nomination.

Gary Jones
Leading Actor, Writer

Gary’s thirty-year career has spanned over two decades! During that time he’s appeared in countless features, MOW’s and TV episodics. Starting in 1984,
Gary’s comedic work with Toronto’s fabled Second City Improv Theatre brought him out to work at Expo '86 and the rest, as they say, is super boring but
he has to write a bio so here goes. He’s an award-winning playwright. Gary appeared for 10 years and over 100 episodes on the sci-fi smash ‘Stargate
SG:1.’ He also acted alongside screen icons Mickey Rooney, Katherine Hepburn and Andre the Seal (one of whom ate a bucket of fish a day). He’s acted
with The Vancouver Playhouse. He’s performed improv in the home of Bill and Melinda Gates. He currently writes for CBC Radio’s ‘The Debaters’ and
Gary has one Oscar to his name: his 17 year-old son, Oscar Jones. He hosted the Leo Awards 9 times! Gary has a poodle named Lois.

Johnny Kalangis
VP Creative, Digital

Johnny Kalangis is the V.P. Creative, Digital, at marblemedia and has been with the studio since 2009. He has contributed to the creation and maintenance of a work culture that emphasizes the continued search for new ways to meaningfully connect with audiences across a number of traditional and interactive touch points.

Johnny was educated at the University of Western Ontario (English, Film Studies), at New York University (Film Production), and the Canadian Film Centre (Interactive Story Lab). As a professional, the 3 feature films he has written and directed have enjoyed theatrical releases, award nominations and wins, special presentations at international film festivals and critical acclaim. Johnny joined CBC in Fall of 2000 where he produced digital, interactive and traditional content for Radio Canada and CBC TV until becoming the Executive in Charge of Original Interactive Content and an executive producer of convergent (TV/Web) arts and entertainment properties. He has lectured at universities about traditional and interactive storytelling and lead workshops on narrative design in digital projects and in games.

Johnny is also an installation artist, staging two interactive film pieces at Nuit Blanche in Toronto in both 2015 and 2016. Since Johnny joined marblemedia as Creative Director, the studio has gone on to win a multitude of nominations and awards in Canada and around the world as well as enjoying commercial and critical success.

Michael Katz
Michael Katz Media Consultancy

Michael E. Katz is the principal driving force behind an innovative international media consultancy that leverages a breadth of experience in both domestic US and global linear and digital channel building, programming strategy and planning, IP development, production, sales and distribution. His inaugural clients include an international production company and a global cross-media thought-leadership conference.
Michael brings to this consultancy a long and distinguished history as an innovator in broadcasting, from pioneering the boom in factual entertainment to translating parochial TV networks into global media brands. His reputation for recognizing industry trends and anticipating their business opportunities makes him a favorite with trade journalists and at media conferences around the world.
As Vice President, Programming and Production for A+E Networks International, he led international channel development, program strategy and planning for the Disney/Hearst joint venture. He worked closely with many of the world’s major media companies in North and South America, Europe, The Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Pacific Rim to develop channel propositions across all delivery platforms.  These included A&E, History, Lifetime, H2, BIO, CI, and FYI plus digital and free-to-air channel brands.  During his tenure, A+E Networks International built 84 branded international TV channels and program services in 39 languages reaching more than 330 million users with over 12,000 hours of IP across more than 200 territories.
Along with expanding its international channel business, Michael built from scratch and managed A+E Networks International’s content sales and distribution business.   From that launch, he supervised a sales and distribution staff based in New York, London, Singapore and Montreal increasing sales more than 10 fold from start-up to hand-off and built its client base to over 100 of the globe’s premiere broadcasters. That business now generates $125 million in revenue a year.
Prior to his role in A+E’s international expansion, he served as Head of Daytime, Comedy and Specials Programming for A&E Network in the US where he worked with likes of John Stewart, Steve Carell and Louis CK, overseeing late night and daytime program development, execution and scheduling. He was also responsible for the acquisition, development and scheduling of the network's special event programming with a concentration on world premiere documentary mini-series and crime-based reality.
In pioneering the area of premium unscripted programming events, Michael served as Executive Producer for A&E Network on a number of the channel’s highest-rated specials and groundbreaking documentary mini-series. He has received a CableAce, a SIVA Educational Award, a National Educational Media Award, Sons of The American Revolution Citation, a Banff Rockie Award and two national Primetime Emmy nominations.
Before joining A&E in 1989 as Director of Development for A&E Network, he was Executive Producer of WABC-TV, Disney-owned ABC’s O&O in New York.  In that capacity, he was responsible for The Morning Show's entry into national syndication as Live With Regis and Kathie Lee and received an Emmy for the local show in 1983 and an Emmy nomination for the national show in 1989.  Michael also served as Line Executive for New York Style,New York Hot Tracks, and Joel Siegel's Road to the Academy Awards. His television credits also include such projects as The Tony Awards Telecasts,The CBS 50th Anniversary Shows, David Frost's Headliners, We Interrupt This Week and The Robert Klein Show.
Michael Katz is a member of the Television Academy and served on the Board of Directors of the Banff World Media Festival and as chair of the Advisory Board for History Makers. He was a principal at A+E Networks for 26 years.
A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Michael graduated cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Tulane University with a BA degree in English.  He and his wife live in New Rochelle. Their two sons, A.J. and Oliver are also in the media business.

Anthony Kimble
SVP, Co-Productions & North American Acquisitions
Cineflix Rights

Anthony has worked in international sales, acquisitions and distribution for over 12 years – With experience garnered from the distribution, production and broadcast sectors.

Prior to Cineflix Rights, Anthony was Head Of Co-productions at UK terrestrial Five, VP of Sales, Acquisitions and Co-productions at National Geographic Television International and also ran the Fugitive Consultancy specializing in helping production companies negotiate pre-sale and co-production financing for programming in all genres.

Matt King
LaRue Entertainment

MATT KING (Founder, Co-President, Producer) Matt grew up in Toronto and began working in show business in the early 2000s in order to help his brother Andy with his sketch comedy videos for his streaming site Skitfaced.com, which pre-dated YouTube. Over the next decade, Matt went to study at University, played records to pay the bills, and set up LaRue to service a growing demand for quality assistance behind the scenes, and to better support the film and television producers and directors he worked for. After working on a number of shows, Matt landed a job in the legal department at eOne, and later left to re-launch LaRue with life-long friend and producing partner Andrew Ferguson. LaRue was established as an artist driven, innovative media company, specializing in making economical premium content for new and existing platforms. To date, LaRue's projects have attracted some of the biggest names in Hollywood, including Academy Award Winning Director Jonathan Demme, The Simpsons creator Matt Groening, and Mad Men’s Jon Hamm. Matt has won a number of awards as a producer, is a member of the PGA, CMPA, WIFT, IWCC, and is a director of CAFDE. Matt was recently nominated for an International Emmy for his work on the Amazing Gayl Pile (NBCUniversal’s Seeso/CBC/Amazon).

Alyssa Landry
Eurodisney Studios

An "American in Paris" for many years, Alyssa Landry is a storyteller and director who writes and designs immersive and interactive audience experiences. She is a free-lance show writer and director for Disneyland Paris whose credits include The Jedi Training Academy, Frozen Sing-Along, and The Forest of Enchantment, among others. She is a producer and narrative designer for Double Eye Productions, spearheading an augmented reality experience for the premiere of Cardboard City at the 2016 New York Film Festival and developing Metropoles, a multi-player virtual reality experience on the subject of gentrification. Her musical theater writing credits include Énooormes (co-author), Bons Baisers de Broadway and #Hashtags!, her first transmedia project. She is currently Narrative Director for Incarna, a new location based virtual reality game.

Su Lei

Su Lei is the Director of Shanghai Media Group (SMG)’s Documentary Channel since 2002. She has deep understanding of documentary films both in foreign and domestic aspect. Recently, she is chief director for “Fruit stories” and implement new shooting method with artistic breakthroughs.

Since 2002, Sulei has responsible for more than 50 documentary program productions. She received several awards in China with her programs and “Rockie Awards” in 2015 with “Endless Love”.

Mackenzie Lush
VP, Television, Development & Production
First Generation Films

As Vice President, Development and Production for First Generation Films’ television division, Mackenzie spearheads the acquisition, development, and production of new scripted series.
Previously serving as Director, Creative Affairs for leading global studio Entertainment One Television, Mackenzie has worked on numerous scripted half hours, one hours, and mini-series both within Canada and abroad. Most recently, she collaborated in the acquisition, development, and production of Global Television/Lifetime’s MARY KILLS PEOPLE, a provocative and darkly comic drama series created by Tara Armstrong, Executive Produced by Tassie Cameron (ROOKIE BLUE), and starring Caroline Dhavernas (HANNIBAL). She was involved in the development and production of the smash hit PRIVATE EYES, a new P.I. procedural for Global Television starring Jason Priestley, and the upcoming CBC event series, CAUGHT, based on Lisa Moore’s critically-acclaimed novel, and adapted by and starring Allan Hawco (REPUBLIC OF DOYLE, FRONTIER). She has served as Associate Producer on the CBC MOW, WISHING WELL from writer Sean Reycraft (THE VAMPIRE DIARIES), and was involved in the development and production of several eOne series including BITTEN (Space/Syfy), MEN WITH BROOMS (CBC), and award-winning comedies CALL ME FITZ (TMN/Movie Central/Direct TV), and ALMOST HEROES (Showcase/Hulu).
In addition, Mackenzie has served on advisory committees, panels and juries across Canada including the Toronto Screenwriting Conference, the imagineNATIVE Film & Media Festival, All Access Manitoba, the Vancouver International Film Festival Gatekeeper’s Panel, as well as the CSAs, the CFC, and many more.

Marney Malabar
Director, KidsTV

As Director of TVOkids, Marney Malabar has created excellent children’s educational content in an ever-evolving digital space - helping kids to be successful both inside and outside the classroom.

Over more than two decades at TVO, Marney has been nominated for numerous awards: winning an International Emmy Award, as well as four Gemini Awards. Today, Marney oversees internationally recognized co-productions, original content and an acquisition slate that drives diversified content and immersive worlds.

In June 2017 Marney completed her graduate studies and received a Masters of Education from the University of Toronto. Marney continues to weave her love of learning and engaging children into every breakout production she touches.

Jennifer Mason
Marketing & Communications
TableRock Media

Jennifer is a highly accomplished marketing and communications executive with over 15 years’ experience in the media and entertainment industry. She has extensive experience developing and directing new service launches and branding campaigns across multiple platforms. Jennifer has undertaken projects for a diverse set of media properties that include pre-school game launches with Apple, a number of high profile programming campaigns and even a promotion for the biggest name in rock ‘n roll, The Rolling Stones. Her particular expertise lies in leveraging both traditional media channels and emerging digital technologies.

Throughout her career, Jennifer has overseen brand development, channel launches, strategic marketing campaigns and creative communication initiatives that build awareness and deliver on audience and revenue targets for some of Canada’s most popular media brands. Some of these include BiteTV, Cottage Life, Kids’ CBC and Smithsonian Channel. In 2012 and 2014, Blue Ant Media, where she was the Director of Marketing & Communications, was designated “Media Player of the Year” by Marketing Magazine, Canada’s premier marketing trade magazine.

Nicole Matiation
Executive Director/Directrice Generale
On Screen Manitoba

As Executive Director of a regional media production industry association, Nicole leads industry representation, marketing and business initiatives. This includes multi-year industry development projects with a focus on international trade that span four provinces and includes film, television and convergent media. Nicole has an MA in Media Studies from Concordia University and has held management positions in communications, development, programming, government relations and public engagement in the arts sector for over 20 years. Nicole is a founding member and treasurer of Manitobans for the Arts, a board member of the Franco-Manitoban Cultural Centre, Secretary of the Board of Culture Days /Nuit Blanche Winnipeg and co-founder and Chair of the Board of Freeze Frame, Media Arts Centre for Young People.

Marie McCann
Senior Director, CBC Kids
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Marie McCann is the Senior Director of Children’s Content for CBC. She began her career as an actress before earning a degree in English and Cinema Studies at the University of Toronto. She has written, directed and produced award winning children’s content for over 20 years. At CBC Kids she heads up the teams responsible for in-house television and digital content and oversees acquisitions and programming created with independent producers for Canada's national public broadcaster.

Kristen McGregor
Kristen McGregor

Kristen McGregor is an Emmy and Canadian Screen Award nominated children’s media producer, director and writer. As show producer, director and writer for Sunny Side Up for Sprout (NBCUniversal) Kristen has overseen over 500 hours of preschool children’s television content, and directed talent such as First Lady Michelle Obama, William Shatner, Julie Andrews and multiple extremely cute puppets, animals, and children. She has helped build 36 playgrounds across Ontario as the director, developer, and supervising producer of the Youth Media Alliance Award-winning Giver with TVOKids and Sinking Ship Entertainment (Season I, II, III & IV). Other shows for children she’s created/directed/produced/written on and researched include: Sesame Street, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Babar and the Adventures of Badou, Dino Dana, What’s Inside?, Furze World Wonders, Abby Hatcher Monster Catcher, Hippothesis, Can You Imagine That?, Are We There Yet? World Adventure, Roll Play, Pirates Adventures in Art, MathXplosion, Chirp, and Bubble Guppies.

Kristen completed her Master’s Degree from Teachers College, Columbia University in 2012 focusing on cognitive development of children in relation to screen-based media, and was the recipient of the Youth Media Alliance’s Emerging Talent Award in 2013. When not making incredible content for kids, she can usually be found petting a dog.

Matt Mitchell
Development Producer
Proper Television

Matt Mitchell’s goal is to produce content that connects people to entertaining and thought-provoking stories. In addition to his experience in producing and development, Matt has extensive knowledge and expertise in the U.S. Market, with development credits including Collision Course (Reelz), The Extractors (A&E), and The Alex Vega Project (Discovery Velocity). As Development Producer for Proper Television, Matt’s focus is to promote and expand the company’s strongest slate to date south of the border. He is currently working on multiple projects in active development with broadcasters. Matt is an honours graduate of Film Studies (BFA) at Ryerson University.

Tony Moulsdale
Global Director, Programming
Motion Content Group

Tony Moulsdale oversees programming for Motion’s global business. From sourcing ideas, through development and production, to marketing and exploitation, Tony works closely with Motion’s local teams to ensure a cohesive commercial approach across markets which makes the most of content opportunities and partnerships. Tony also manages Motion’s international scripted slate, working with writers, producers and broadcasters to bring premium quality drama into production.
Tony divides his time between LA , London and Toronto, where he leads Motion’s rapidly developing Canadian content business.
Prior to Motion’s launch, Tony was Head of Programming for GroupM Entertainment UK where he oversaw more than 200 primetime series including THE JUMP, LOVE ISLAND, CILLA and BEN FOGLE: NEW LIVES IN THE WILD. He joined GME in 2008 from MediaCom, the UK’s largest media agency where, as Head of Programming, he ran the branded content business. Before that Tony was a freelance Producer and Director working predominantly for the BBC and Channel 4.

Robin Neinstein
Manager of Original Content – Scripted, Factual & Kids

As Manager of Original Content – Scripted, Factual & Kids for Corus Entertainment, Robin Neinstein supervises commissioned original programming for a variety of Corus’ 45 television channels. Original scripted content is developed and created for Global, Showcase, History and W Network. Original factual programming is commissioned for History and Global. Corus also commissions children’s and youth programming for Teletoon, Treehouse and YTV. Prior to joining Corus, Robin was Executive in Charge of Production for CBC Television. He was also Executive Producer and co-founder of production company Media Headquarters. He is an Emmy Award-nominated producer. Robin started his career at Twentieth Century Fox and is a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

Alison Norrington
Chief Creative Officer
Storycentral Ltd.

Alison Norrington is a writer/producer, Founder & Chief Creative Director of storycentral, a London-based entertainment studio that incubates and develops ground-breaking transmedia properties with global partners in film, television, animation, publishing, advertising, branding, theme parks, Virtual Reality and gaming. As CEO/CCO of storycentral, Alison has worked on a range of intellectual properties that are founded on robust story worlds with strong core themes and have genuine and relevant touch points across a host of media channels. She specializes in storytelling that amplifies fan incubation and engagement, experience design, extending IP & franchises, community build through story and storyworld strategy, incubation & development – all centered around a strong robust core of story architecture, theme, awareness of audience and experience design.
Alison is a best-selling novelist, playwright and journalist, a PhD researcher with an MA in Creative Writing & New Media. Over her 25-year career she has worked with and consulted to SundanceTV, CBS Interactive, Walt Disney Imagineering, FOX International, AMC Networks, BBC, DR (Denmark), Harlequin Mills & Boon, McCann, Coca Cola, DeBeers Group of Companies, UK Police Force, Schleich GmbH, F&W Media, Eurovision Broadcasting Union, Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre. Alison is Conference Chair for StoryWorld Conference & Expo in Los Angeles, Exec Producer of the Virtual Reality Thread for Children’s Media Conference and a two-time TEDx speaker. She is featured on the BAFTA Guru series and is a member of the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, The Writers Guild of Great Britain and Women in Film & TV.

Paul Nunn
Chief Strategy Officer

Paul Nunn (@Nunnone) is Chief Strategy Officer at SuperAwesome, the kids digital engagement platform which reaches 300m kids every month. Paul has global responsibility for PopJam, the industry's leading safe-social content platform for kids as well as heading strategic initiatives in mobile and video.

An active consultant, Paul is digital advisor to companies including the The Roald Dahl Literary Estate and Halfbrick Studios. Previously Paul was Managing Director of Outfit7 Brit Limited, the family entertainment powerhouse behind the smash hit mobile success Talking Tom & Friends. There he initiated and led their highly successful YouTube strategy, turning the Talking Tom & Friends channels into one of the best-performing family franchises on the platform.

Lisa O'Brien
VP, Original Development and Programming
Universal Kids

Lisa O’Brien is the Vice President of Original Programming & Development for Universal Kids, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment’s network for kids 2-12. With a fresh mix of animated content, unscripted entertainment, and proven international hits, Universal Kids represents the world of NBCUniversal family brands. In her role, O’Brien oversees the originals team and is responsible for the development of unscripted entertainment, live-action and animated series.
Prior to working at Universal Kids, O'Brien developed a number of preschool programs as an Executive Producer for The Jim Henson Company. She also served as Creative Director at Disney Channel and at FOX Family Channel. O’Brien served as a writer and producer for Disney, Discovery (Mega Movie Magic) and ABC Television (The Branding Factory).
She graduated with a B.A. in broadcast arts from Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Canada and now lives in Los Angeles, California with her husband, son and dog.

Dan Odendaal
Ahoy Films

Dan is a producer based out of South Africa and spends most of his time shooting across the African Continent. He has a passion for wildlife and the outdoors. He recently conceptualised, executive produced and produced a docu-reality series on the people of the famed Kruger National Park in South Africa which aired on Animal Planet late 2017.

Stephen Papadimitriou
Writer / Director / Producer

Silvia Perez Chavarria
Director General of Media Analysis and Audiovisual Content
Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones

BA in Communications from Autonoma Metropolitana University. She has taken several workshops and certificates in TV Executive Production, Scripts, and Categories.
With over 20 years of on-going experience in the audio-visual industry, she has performed and developed in the public television broadcasting sector (Mexican Channel 11), as well as for the private sector (HBO Latam) in the following areas: Programming, Production, and Content Purchasing aimed at child and adult audiences, specifically in planning, coordination management of financial and human resources, as well as in programming strategies.
She has participated in different domestic and international markets, such as NATPE, Mipcom, Mipcom Jr., BBC Showcase, Mercadoc, Kidscreen and others, which have provided her with a wide scope of international trends of TV contents' offer and consumption.
She collaborates with the Media and Audio-Visual Content Areas, since 2015, in her position as Director General of Media and Audio-Visual Contents at the Federal Telecommunications Institute.

Kathleen Préfontaine
Distribution & Development Coordinator
Aetios Productions Inc.

Kathleen holds a BAC in Design Art from Concordia University and a Certificate in Marketing Management from HEC Montréal. In 2006, she began her television distribution career with Distraction Formats as Director of Marketing. She then migrated to various Quebec production companies (La Presse Télé, Attraction Média and Trio Orange) where she established the new distribution department.
She has participated in international sales of programs: Les Parent (France, Greece, Israel, Poland, Russia and Air Transat) and Live from the universe (France and Lebanon). At Aetios, she coordinates all aspects of distribution and collaborates in the development of new series.

Ramona Pringle
Creative Video Designer
Ryerson University

She is an Associate Professor in the RTA School of Media at Ryerson University and Director of the Transmedia Zone, an incubator for innovation in media and storytelling.
A technology columnist for CBC, Ramona’s articles and analysis reach audiences internationally online, in a weekly nationally syndicated radio column, and on television on “The Hotspot” in On The Money.
An interactive producer, Ramona has worked on several acclaimed projects; she wrote, directed and produced the interactive documentary “Avatar Secrets,” for TVO.
Previously, she was the interactive producer of PBS Frontline’s “Digital Nation” and editor in chief of “Rdigitalife”. Other projects include the digital companions for “The Mystery of San Nicandro” and “We Are Canada”, for CBC.
Ramona is a co-editor of the IEEE Potentials Magazine special edition, “Unintended Consequences: the Paradox of Technological Potential,” an associate editor of IEEE Technology and Society Magazine.
Ramona’s projects have been featured at festivals and conferences including i-docs, Power to the Pixel, TFI Interactive, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Hot Docs, SXSW, NXNE, Social Media Week, TEDx, and in publications including the New York Times, Mashable, Cult of Mac and the
Huffington Post. Her work has been nominated for awards including the Canadian Screen Awards, Rockies, and Digis, and she was named one of Playback’s Ten to Watch. Ramona has a Master’s Degree from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program.

Yuriy Prylypko
Film UA Distribution

Marly Reed
Manager, Development and Production
CCI Entertainment Ltd.

Marly currently oversees production and development for CCI Entertainment, based in Toronto, Ontario.

With over thirty years of experience in television, film production and international distribution, CCI works in all genres, including family, lifestyle, drama and factual.

Nicole Reed
VP of Development
Painless Productions

Nicole Reed is Vice President of Development at Painless Productions and is based in Los Angeles. Reed was previously Vice President of Development at National Geographic in the New York office. There, she was responsible for the development and commissions of many new series and specials for the network, as well as running the NYC development team. Prior to NatGeo, Reed was Director, Nonfiction and Alternative Programming at A&E. She was responsible for the development of new series on A&E and was part of team that launched the Bio rebrand that began the start of non-fiction programming on LMN. She also served as Executive Producer, overseeing production for new series, pilots and POC’s that she developed. Before A&E, she was Manager of Development at Discovery Channel in the newly launched LA office. In this role, she was responsible for many series and specials under several regimes. Reed began her career in independent horror film production as a Unit Production Manager.

Phil Rees
Manager of Investigative Journalism
Al Jazeera Media Network

After 23 years as a senior producer and correspondent with the BBC, Phil set up aproduction company in London. In 2013, he moved to Doha to join al Jazeera’s newly-formed Investigations Unit. He became Manager of Investigations in 2015.

He has covered Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas during his career, with postings in Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok. He has written widely and presented or produced more than sixty documentaries.

Phil has won more than dozen international awards, including two from the Royal Television Society for best foreign affairs documentary (1994 & 1998) and two each from the New York and Monte Carlo Television Awards. In 2016 he won the Frontline Club’s Broadcast Journalism award for his film “Genocide Agenda" on the Rohingya Muslims.

Rees’ 2006 book, Dining with Terrorists, was described as ‘outstanding’ by The Guardian and ‘a tour de force’ by Professor Noam Chomsky. Newsweek wrote that the book ‘should trouble anyone who believes Washington’s enemies in the war on terror are easily identified’.

Gary Rideout
Producer / Actor / Writer
Comedy Bar

Gary Rideout Jr. is the creator and producer of the Canadian Comedy Award-nominated webseries But I’m Chris Jericho! He also created, wrote, executive produced and performed in SketchersonsTV (Rogers), and wrote, performed in and produced Comedy Bar (Bite TV). His numerous film and TV credits include Hotbox (Comedy Network), Air Farce Live (CBC), Hockey: A People’s History (CBC) and Monster Warriors (YTV). Gary is a founding member and executive producer of The Sketchersons, which has been nominated for eight Canadian Comedy Awards (Best Sketch Troupe) and won in 2007. He was the 2014 recipient of the Roger Abbott Award at the Canadian Comedy Awards. Gary is co-owner and artistic director at Toronto’s premiere comedy club, Comedy Bar, which is dedicated to the development of new and established comedic talent; cited for providing the best Improv, Stand Up & Sketch performances in the city.

Nataline Rodrigues
Director of Original Programming
Rogers Media Inc.

As Director of Original Programming, Nataline Rodrigues oversees the development and production of original Canadian programming for all Rogers Media non-sports television brands and platforms.

Since joining Rogers in 2013, Rodrigues has led the development and production of original scripted drama Between as well as the Chinese/English procedural drama Blood and Water as well as  comedies Nirvanna the Band the Show, Second Jen and Sunnyside. She is currently focused on new development, the production of event tv drama series Bad Blood: The Vito Rizzuto Story, comedy series Fubar and overseeing the Canadian slate of VICELAND, a new content offering in the media landscape, as part of a joint venture between Rogers and VICE Media.  

Prior to her role at Rogers Media, Rodrigues held the position of Executive in Charge of Production at CBC where she managed the development and production of numerous programs.    Her earlier experience includes working as an Executive in Charge of Production for Canwest and Alliance Atlantis where she was responsible for the development and production of numerous original award winning series.

Rodrigues has also worked in the independent sector as a producer, director, and writer in addition to developing factual and dramatic programming.  Her production credits include:  Canada’s War in Colour, Friendly Fire, Planet Storm and A Deathly Silence.

Zoe Rogovin
VP, Development

As VP, Development for Bravo Media, Zoe Rogovin is responsible for developing and producing new, innovative content including pilots, series, casting reels, formats and original ideas. Zoe joined Bravo in September 2012 and was instrumental in the development and production of The Real Housewives of Dallas, Andy Cohen’s Then & Now, the Emmy Award-winning, real time docu-series The Singles Project, RelationSHEP, To Rome for Love, Relative Success with Tabatha and the upcoming series Sell It Like Serhant, among others to be announced later this year. In addition to helping develop the network's diverse slate, Zoe recently oversaw Bravo’s original scripted comedy series Odd Mom Out. Prior to joining Bravo, Zoe worked in the TV Literary Department at ICM and for Wasserman Media Group’s Business Development team. She is on the board of the HRTS Associates organization and spearheads its mentorship program. Zoe received her Bachelor of Arts in Screen Arts and Culture and Communications from University of Michigan and is based in New York.

Clarence Rolle
Film Commissioner
Bahamas Film & Television Commission

Clarence Rolle was graduated from The College of The Bahamas, now University of The Bahamas, in 1993 with an Associate of Arts in Mass Communications and Journalism. He furthered his education at Clark Atlanta University in the United States, where he continued to develop his acting and writing talents. He has worked as a sports reporter, political and hard news reporter and editor in The Bahamas and the United States.
Later, he joined the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and became general manager of the Ministry's Communications Unit. He now serves as Bahamas Film & Television Commissioner.
He is the writer, director and producer of several plays and films.
Rolle also serves as president of the Bahamas Amateur Wrestling Federation and a vice president of the Bahamas Olympic Committee. He is married to Demetria Dawkins-Rolle. They have two children who enjoy several sports and the creative arts.

Khaled Sabbour
East Liberty Entertainment

Khaled Sabbour is the founder and principal of East Liberty Entertainment, a multiplatform production company.
Currently serving as an Executive Producer at marblemedia where he works alongside global agency partners to create strategic financing models to license newly commissioned series for broadcast.
Prior to marblemedia, Sabbour Executive Produced and co-developed with Entertainment One Group (Force Four Ent) Chuck and Danny’s Road Trip a Food Network Canada series.
As of late Sabbour’s focus has been on facilitating branded partnerships and integration models and has been involved in a number of roles within various television and feature productions. He facilitated sponsorship deals for Tornado Hunters on CMT Canada, winner of the Digital and Branded Content - Multi-Platform Project award at 2015 Realscreen Summit West. Prior to this, he also served as a development producer at Architect Films spearheading the company’s development slate.

Aaron Schneeberger
Director of TV Development

Aaron Schneeberger is a TV & content development executive with a penchant for the absurd. He helped launch truTV into scripted comedy by developing the single camera sitcom Those Who Can't. While there, he also produced other series and built bridges with comedy talent for the fledgling comedy channel. He now runs development for Mustache in Brooklyn, NY and consults on their hit series Most Expensivest on VICELAND. He moonlights as a time cop.

Heidi Schorn
Director of Development
Alibi Entertainment Inc.

With an extensive background in a variety of unscripted programming, Heidi’s dedication and leadership as Director of Development have made her a leading talent in the field. In her role, she works closely with the production, post production, accounting and legal teams, implementing strategies for long-term strategic growth across genres. With experience in all phases of development, her talents have contributed to a range of programming including access pieces, and format adaptations such as This Is Highschool (CBC) to original co-productions such as Food Truck Face Off (Food Network Canada/US).

Linda Simensky
VP, Children’s Programming

Vice President, Children’s Programming, PBS
As Vice President of Children’s Programming at PBS, Linda Simensky collaborates with producers, co-production partners, PBS station programmers, and distributors throughout the development, production, post-production, and broadcast phases for PBS KIDS programming.
Since joining PBS in 2003, Linda has worked with renowned producers to develop hit shows ranging from DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD and WILD KRATTS to ODD SQUAD and NATURE CAT. Linda is currently working on the PBS KIDS creativity-themed series, PINKALICIOUS & PETERRIFIC with WGBH, LUNA AROUND THE WORLD with Joe Murray, and several pilots.
Before joining PBS, Linda was Senior Vice President of Original Animation for Cartoon Network, where she oversaw development and series production of "The Powerpuff Girls," among others. She began her career working for nine years at Nickelodeon, where she helped build the animation department and launch the popular series "Rugrats," "Doug" and "The Ren & Stimpy Show."
Linda also teaches Animation History at the University of Pennsylvania.

Halle Stanford
President, Television
The Jim Henson Company

A nine-time Emmy®-nominated children’s television producer, Halle Stanford leads the Company’s development and production of all television, home entertainment and digital media in animated and live-action formats. She is currently in production on the Netflix series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance and the second season of Doozers, a CG-animated preschool series inspired by the wildly popular characters from the classic Henson series Fraggle Rock. Her recent preschool and children’s programming executive producer credits include the Netflix Original Word Party, the groundbreaking marine biology series Splash and Bubbles for PBS KIDS®, the Sprout animated series Dot., based on Randi Zuckerberg’s popular book, the Netflix Original preschool show Julie’s Greenroom, starring award-winning actress Julie Andrews.
Stanford’s award-winning credits also include Sid the Science Kid and Dinosaur Train, which currently air on PBS KIDS® in the U.S. and in multiple markets around the world, the live-action preschool series Hi Opie!, as well as the Emmy®-nominated preschool series Pajanimals airing daily on Sprout.
Additionally, she is also developing a new animated children’s television series based on the popular female action figures by IAmElemental and an untitled children’s series based on children’s books from Al Yankovic. Stanford co-authored a book series, Jim Henson’s Enchanted Sisters, a collection of fantastical comedy-adventure stories for girls published by Bloomsbury and currently in series development with Cyber Group Studios.
Stanford joined The Jim Henson Company in 1993 and has developed and produced many well-known properties for the company since that time. She holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Film and Theater from Wesleyan University and lives in Los Angeles with her sons Max and Theo.

Carlyn Staudt
EVP, Love Nature Programming & Development
Blue Ant Media

Carlyn Staudt is EVP, Love Nature programming and development at Blue Ant Media. She is responsible for leading the global programming strategy of Love Nature’s linear and streaming video platforms internationally, with the exception of North America. Her role also includes commissioning original content to grow the brand’s extensive library of 4K natural history programming. Working out of Washington, D.C., Staudt is building and leading a team in the areas of development and production to support Love Nature’s expansion.
Prior to joining Blue Ant Media, Staudt worked at National Geographic Partners as SVP, global content partnerships and strategic development. In this role, she was responsible for managing the company’s relationship with Fox Home Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Film & Television Distribution. In addition, she managed Cinema Ventures, National Geographic’s large-format film business and digital content syndication opportunities. Staudt also held numerous leadership roles within the company, notably SVP, global programming and managing director, National Geographic Channels, International Operations.

Marketa Stinglova
Manager of International Content
Czech Television

After graduation at Film and Television Faculty of Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (FAMU) Marketa joined as an executive producer the production company K2 Ltd. focused mainly on documentaries about people whose personal stories were influenced by the political events of the 20th century in Central Europe.
Since 2001 Marketa has been working for Czech Television (the official public service broadcaster in the Czech Republic) on various job positions, she was in charge of cooperation within EBU, fundraising - financing TV projects from EU funds and others.
Currently she works as a Head of International Co-Productions and is responsible for international cooperation across genres. After conclusion of the Association Agreement with French-German cultural channel ARTE in 2013 she is in charge of cooperation between CT and ARTE. Markéta also participates in the international co-production and pitching forums and she also occasionally acts as a member of festival juries.
In 2016 Marketa was elected to the Bureau of the EBU Documentary Experts Group and she is also a member of Eurovision Science & Knowledge Experts Group Bureau since 2017.

Igal Svet
Senior Director, Development
National Geographic

Based in New York, Igal Svet is Senior Director, Development for the National Geographic Channel, responsible for ideation and development of original premium content for the global channel. Svet is the main point of contact with the production community in New York. National Geographic’s slate of sweeping original series includes Mars, The Story of God with Morgan Freeman, One Strange Rock and award-winning feature documentaries such as Jane, LA92 and Before the Flood.

Prior to National Geographic, he served as Vice President, Development at the Miami-based production company, 2C Media and as Producer on several hit cable network series including History Channel’s Top Gear and truTV’s Full Throttle Saloon. Svet also played an integral role at BBC Worldwide and Reveille LLC, in Los Angeles, where he developed, packaged and sold non-fiction projects.

Paula Taborda dos Guaranys
Head of Content & Programming

Senior TV and entertainment executive for over 20 years, Paula Taborda dos Guaranys is the creative mind behind Globo Groups’ kids content hub: Gloob and Gloobinho. With extensive experience on children’s content, Paula launched Gloob in 2012 and preschool recent venture - Gloobinho - 2017. As head of Content & Programming, Paula is in charge of the channel’s original and international production and coproduction. She also manages deal-making partnerships, programming strategy and content sales. Under her leadership, Gloob has experienced remarkable growth in ratings since its debut, becoming the 3rd biggest Pay TV channel amongst Brazilian kids in less than 5 years of existence. Taborda dos Guaranys has also contributed with her work in companies such as TV Globo - including its American affiliate in New York - Canal Futura, TV Brasil and RioFilm, as well as acting as a consultant on projects such as the Brazilian Kids Film Festival, and as jury member on festivals and awards including Banff World Media, Anima Mundi and International Emmy Awards.

Andrea Ulbrick
Development and Production Executive
Screen NSW

Andrea has been a Sector Investment Manager (Screen) at Create NSW since August 2016. As an award-winning documentary filmmaker, she has been working across a broad range of factual programs in film, TV, digital and radio for 28 years — initially as a television reporter, newsreader, TV presenter, director, creative producer, post producer, consultant executive producer for domestic and international broadcasters including ABC (Australia) SBS (Australia), Nine Network Australia, Network Ten, Arte France, BBC, National Geographic, UKTV, Discovery, S4C WALES and CBC Canada.

Prior to joining Create NSW, Andrea was a Commissioning Editor in Factual at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (2014-2016). She is also a competitive sailor and an amateur photographer.

Lucie Veillet
EVP & Producer
Telefiction Inc

Claude Veillet’s accomplice and associate for almost 25 years, Lucie Veillet is the executive vice-president of Téléfiction and producer of all the company’s projects. She works actively at developing and conceiving series and films for Téléfiction. A real specialist in content destined for young viewers, she is the co-creator and producer of the popular series Salmigondis, 1,2,3…Géant !, Toc Toc Toc. She also produced the popular series Cornemuse and Pin-Pon, as well as many full-length films such as Le journal d’Aurélie Laflamme, Les pieds dans le vide, La mystérieuse Mademoiselle C., and L’incomparable Mademoiselle C. For the web, she participates in the conceptualization of all the young viewer websites, such as www.salmigondis.tv, www.toctoctoc.tv, and www.123geant.com. Lucie Veillet has also been the editor of Imagine, a publishing house that published more than 85 illustrated albums destined for kids, all printed in Québec.

Lindsay Watson
International Animation Producer & Consultant
CANUK Productions

Lindsay is a Canadian/British children’s animation producer based in London. She is an entrepreneur, academic and lobbyist whose papers on British animation funding and girls animation have been published by Animation UK and Nordicom’s International Clearing House on Children, Youth & Media.
Her consultancy firm CANUK Productions has aided the development and co-production of over 20 children’s and family projects. Her experience includes original IP, books, series, specials, games, apps, film and digital projects for the international market. She has worked on budgeted projects up to £10M.
She launched Animated Women UK in 2013 and has run it with a board for 5 years, and also obtained a Masters in Professional Media Practice specialising in animation management from Bournemouth University in 2015.
Lindsay regularly provides support to international film boards and funding bodies on assessing new projects and has appeared at festivals worldwide. She was diagnosed with dyslexia in 2015 and is passionate about 2 things: living somewhere warm and sunny with a dog named Rusty…and seeing more positive versions of women and girls in media.

Alice Webb
Director, BBC Children's and BBC North
BBC Children's

The BBC is the leading public service broadcaster for children in the world and is also the biggest investor in British-made children’s content.
Alice Webb is Director, BBC Children’s, responsible for all aspects of the BBC’s Children’s services – including being responsible for the UK’s two most popular networks for youngest audiences, CBeebies and CBBC. With over 8,000 hours of children’s content each year, together with iPlayer, apps, interactive and multimedia content the BBC’s children’s services reach 69% of UK children under the age of 12 each month.
Alice leads the production and operations of BBC Children’s – including 450 staff based at MediaCityUK, Salford.
Formerly, Chief Operating Officer (COO), BBC England, Alice was responsible for overseeing all aspects of technology, people, workspace, migration and ways of working across the BBC sites in Salford, Bristol and Birmingham – including orchestrating the successful move of key BBC departments including Sport, BBC Children's, 5 live and BBC Learning to Salford, in the biggest BBC move outside London in its history.
Before joining the BBC Alice was at PA Consulting Group for five years where she worked with organisations including Orange, The Cabinet Office, Reuters and Deutsche Bank.
Alice’s first career was as a chartered civil engineer working on water, wastewater and tunnelling projects in the UK and overseas.

Andrea Whyte
Director, Commercial Content Strategy
Spafax Ltd

Andrea Whyte is the Director, Commercial Content Strategy at Spafax, where she works with airline clients that include Air Canada, Delta Air lines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, and LATAM to create innovative inflight entertainment strategies that both delight passengers and demonstrate commercial return. She works closely with media companies such as Warner Brothers, Paramount, Sony, HBO and the BBC to deliver the best entertainment deals for her clients.
Prior to moving to London, Andrea was based in her hometown of Toronto as the Inflight Entertainment Programming and Account Manager for Spafax, working with Air Canada to manage media acquisitions and develop content partnerships. She also directed the Air Canada enRoute Film Festival, a short film festival that supports the next generation of Canadian filmmakers.
After receiving her Master of Arts in Cinema Studies from the University of Toronto, Andrea worked for three years in the programming department of TIFF Bell Lightbox.
Andrea is currently producing her first short film, The Viking Next Door, directed by Caitlin Starowicz (in post-production).

Bryn Wiebe
Original Programming Coordinator
Rogers Media Inc.

Bryn is a TV & film professional hailing from the flatlands of Winnipeg, Manitoba and educated at Ryerson University's film studies program. She began her career developing projects for Hallmark and Lifetime television, and has since collaborated with writers, directors, and independent producers in all facets of production, mostly recently coordinating the sales of top tier Canadian content in the international market. She is currently the Original Programming Coordinator for Rogers Media, facilitating scripted and unscripted production, development, and submissions. She is an avid storyteller and consumer, and believes in the power of representation as liberation.

Dan Williams
Executive Producer/Producer/Creator/Writer
Wishfart Productions Inc.

Dan is a series creator, producer, showrunner and award-winning screenwriter. His credits include “Toonmarty”, “Sidekick”, “Delilah & Julius” and “The Hamster Cage” by legendary Canadian filmmaker Larry Kent. As a film set PA he gave cues to Nick Nolte, Dolph Lundgren, Sissy Spacek and Roy Scheider, with whom he shares a birthday. Most recently he co-created and produced, “Wishfart”, an animated comedy series about a teen leprechaun with wonky wish-granting powers and his best friends, a talking puffin and a ghost girl. The series airs in the UK on ITV and Cartoon Network, has sold worldwide, and will launch on Teletoon in Canada in 2018.

Joel Williams
Head of Programming
The Walt Disney Company Australia

Joel Williams oversees all aspects of the programming strategy for Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD television channels and platforms in Australia and New Zealand. He also focuses on acquisitions, emerging nonlinear platforms, content windowing, and supporting franchise development.

Joel is a member of the International Emmys® and has worked in the television industry for more than 19 years, across both subscription television and free to air networks. Prior to joining Disney, Joel held key leadership positions with the National Indigenous Television Network (NITV) and Nickelodeon Australia.

Melissa Wolfe
Development Executive, Kids Animation
Amazon Studios

Leah Wolfson
Production Executive, Original Programming, Corus Kids
Corus Entertainment

As a Production Executive in Original Programming, Leah Wolfson is responsible for overseeing the creative development and production of the original programming slate for Corus Entertainment’s YTV, Treehouse and Teletoon networks. Working in partnership with producers, Leah has contributed to the success of several popular and award-winning YTV and Treehouse series, including The Next Star, Splatalot, Cache Craze, Japanizi: Going Going Gong!, Max & Shred, Some Assembly Required, Sidekick, Scaredy Squirrel, This is Scarlett & Isaiah and Splash & Boots.
Leah is a graduate of the Radio & Television Arts Program at Ryerson University and joined Corus in 2007. She is passionate about children’s television and feels so lucky to be able to entertain and make kids laugh.

Sioned Wyn Roberts
Content Commissioner, Children's & Learning
S4C International

Sioned Wyn Roberts is the Content Commissioner for Children’s and Learning at S4C. the Welsh-language PSB.
Sioned is responsible for the pre-school channel Cyw (ages 0-6) and Children’s Stwnsh (age 7-13). Since joining S4C in 2012, she has developed innovative formats like Y Lifft, the first second-screen play-along gameshow for kids in the UK; Madron interactive animation and digital comic; Dwylo’r Enfys, a series introducing Makaton in Welsh; #Fi award-winning documentary strand; and Llond Ceg, an agony-aunt show with Radio 1’s Aled Jones that tackles kids’ issues head-on.
Original and imaginative content is key to the success of Cyw and in 2017/8 the new pre-school drama series Deian a Loli has been a runaway success. Deian and Loli are twins with special powers, they can “freeze” their parents and go outside to have exciting adventures in a world where flowers talk and the sun quarrels with the wind. With strong stories, great characters and natural performances the series has been the most successful show on Cyw in recent years and won Best Children’s Bafta CymruWales.
On Sioned’s Learning slate for 2018 is a Welsh version of Operation Transformation, a long-running and successful RTE format that encourages families to get involved in improving their health and fitness.
From 1990-2006 Sioned worked at the BBC producing and directing radio, tv and interactive content. As a Senior Producer (2001-06), she led the award-winning multiplatform projects ‘Come Clean’, ‘B*ll*cks’, and pan-Celtic language learning project ‘Colin and Cumberland’. From 2006-12 Sioned worked in the independent sector and produced, developed and exec produced a host of shows such as CBeebies’ ‘Alphablocks’.

Marielle Zuccarelli
Chief Operating Officer
GRB Entertainment

Marielle Zuccarelli is Chief Operating Officer of GRB Entertainment, managing the company’s growth and profitability with oversight of program development, international distribution and acquisitions, corporate strategy and business development, including GRB’s branded entertainment division. She previously served as GRB’s president of international from 2003-2012, leading P&L efforts and running global program sales and acquisitions. Zuccarelli served as executive vice president of international distribution at Sonar Entertainment from 2015-2016, overseeing all media sales, co-productions and program acquisitions. Prior to that, she was managing director of international distribution at A+E Networks with oversight of its 10,000-hour non-fiction library encompassing original movies and series for A+E Networks’ channel portfolio. A native of Cannes, France, Zuccarelli began her television career at New Films International in television movie and feature film distribution.